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Donors commit $612 million toward $1.2 billion goal for Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas

April 30, 2012

Building on four years of record private giving, KU Endowment has publicly launched Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, a $1.2 billion fundraising campaign to support the aspirations of the University of Kansas and The University of Kansas Hospital.

Alumni and friends have committed $612 million to date since July 2008, when major priorities were identified.

The campaign is scheduled to conclude in June 2016. The $1.2 billion goal reflects the sum of strategic priorities, as well as fundraising strength to date.

“The campaign’s name, Far Above, reflects our goal to elevate KU to new heights,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “We seek to be recognized as a top-tier research university and academic medical center. The success of this campaign for Kansas’ flagship university will benefit people in every corner of our state and region.”

The campaign seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth. These priorities were established through broad consultation with leaders throughout the university and hospital, said Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment. “We are fortunate to be working with a strong cadre of campaign leaders,” he said. “With their help, I’m confident we will achieve our goal.”

Campaign chairs are Kurt and Sue Watson of Andover, Kan. Co-chairs are Tom and Jill Docking of Wichita, and Mark and Stacy Parkinson of Potomac, Md. They are joined by 19 other members of a steering committee representing alumni and friends from across the nation.

“There is tremendous loyalty to KU among alumni and friends,” said Kurt and Sue Watson. “It is up to us to ensure that KU’s stature can continue to rise. To seize the opportunities for the future, we must bolster support for our students, faculty and staff so they can marshal their talents in service to Kansas, our nation and around the globe.”

Bob Page, president and CEO of The University of Kansas Hospital, said the campaign would help the hospital expand and enhance its leading-edge programs and its nationally recognized quality care. “The hospital serves patients from every county in Kansas, so supporting our needs impacts Kansans everywhere,” Page said.

Major campaign goals include $400 million for students (scholarships, fellowships and opportunities outside the classroom), $325 million for programs (academic, research, clinical and community engagement initiatives), $300 million for faculty (professorships, recruitment of exemplary faculty and staff) and $175 million for facilities (construction and renovation of facilities for learning and patient care).

Since the start of Far Above in 2008, donors have established 246 scholarships and 14 professorships at KU in a wide range of disciplines — from the humanities to business to engineering.

Moreover, several projects have been completed or are under way thanks to private philanthropy. These include support for The University of Kansas Cancer Center’s quest to achieve designation from the National Cancer Institute; a new educational pavilion at the Lied Center of Kansas; and a new School of Medicine in Salina and expansion of the school’s Wichita campus. At the hospital, cancer care and radiation oncology pavilions were created and named for donor Annette Bloch and her late husband, Richard Bloch.

The university’s last campaign, KU First: Invest in Excellence, concluded in 2004, surpassing its original goal of $500 million to reach $653 million.

Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU.

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April 30, 2012
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Michelle Keller
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